It’s hard for books to live upto their predecessor- especially if said predecessor was a book like Strange the Dreamer. When a book plays havoc with my emotions like that one did, you can safely bet I’m going to be HERE for the sequel… but also nervous because how can a book live up to perfection, build on everything it did well AND satisfactorily conclude a duology all at the same time?!!? Well, never fear, Muse of Nightmares is here! Somehow this book did all those things- which obviously means I’m completely crazy about it. Prepare for some serious GUSH. *You have been warned*.
“Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.”
The second I picked this up, I was instantly re-immersed in the beautiful world and story. I felt as if I had just put down the last book and had been holding my breath until I returned for more. In fact, that’s how I felt the whole way through this book. From the beginning, I was lulled into Laini Taylor’s lustrous narrative. I did not want to wake- no matter how intense or maddening or complex the plot became.
“Her voice would die before she ran out of rage. She could scream a hole in her throat and come unravelled, fall to pieces like moth-chewed silk, and still, from the leftover shreds of her, the little pile of tatters, would pour forth this unending scream.”
And it was pretty relentless. New dimensions to the story made it feel as mind-trippy as a tour through Inception. I liked the addition of the sister’s story, I appreciated the detailed origins of the gods and I couldn’t get enough of the insights into the Ellen’s past. Most of all, I loved how this book both answered mysteries and revealed other areas of exploration.
“…that’s another story.”
Because one of my favourite parts of this book is the way it hints of other worlds and stories. Both of tales past and yet to come. I was seriously fangirling over Taylor’s references to the seraphim Daughter of Smoke and Bone and little links she was making to possible other works in the pipeline. It just made me squeal with delight to know that Laini Taylor basically has an extended universe now. It’s really no secret that I’ve adored everything I’ve read by Taylor so more- and the idea that there’s more to come? AHHHH! Celebrations all round!
“There was a word from a myth: sathaz . It was the desire to possess that which can never be yours. It meant senseless, hopeless yearning, the way a gutter child might dream of being king, and it came from the tale of the man who loved the moon.”
I’m in awe of this lady, because her skills as a writer are unparalleled. If I could have, I’d have memorised every. line. of. this. gorgeous. book. Every sentence was sensational; so many of the individual word choices rolled off the tongue. And yes, I am that impressed with this writer, even at the micro level. And no, it’s not over the top- it’s just that good 😉
“Now it was back, and it felt, as it ever had, like calligraphy, if calligraphy were written honey.”
As a story, this really took the main characters on an emotional journey. In part, it was a tale of pain and trauma and grief. Yet, underpinning that were lessons of recovery. There were times it was so exquisite it made my soul ache for these wonderful, wonderful characters. I felt everything with them and for them.
“It’s the mind. It’s the most complex and astonishing thing there is, that there’s a world inside each of us that no one else can ever know or see or visit.”
And not just for the protagonists- the side characters were so well drawn as well. I especially liked how the antagonists from the first book were fleshed out and given room to grow. Thyon was humanised so much more; Minya’s mind set was explored with real psychological depth and given the headspace to evolve before our eyes- so much so I ended up relating to her more than Sarai and the ever-perfect Lazlo.
“Wishes don’t just come true. They’re only the target you paint around what you want. You still have to hit the bull’s eye yourself.”
In the end this gave me everything I wanted from this book- and more. One could say I enjoyed the hell out of Muse of Nightmares 😉 Naturally, I’m giving it:
So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!